Wednesday, August 29, 2007

"The Mouse That Roared"

We were given an odd piece of information about Juliet in "Not In Portland". She tells Jack that she has been on the Island for "3 years, 2 months, and 28 days", which according to the math dates her arrival at 9/5/2001. Today I was thinking that maybe the true reason that Ben can't let her go back to The World, even if he wanted to, is because an elaborate lie has possibly been publicly fabricated about her death, along the lines of the one we are led to believe has been set up about the 815 passengers' deaths.

Think about why Mittelos may have chosen her over other talented and dedicated researchers. Sure, she is said to be a fertility genius, but that was about all that she had in her life really. Besides helping her sick sister conceive, artificially or otherwise, she had no life outside of her work. And her only other living tie to The World that we know of, was smacked by a bus and killed. BTW, if Desmond's ep was called "Flashes Before Your Eyes", Juliet's ep should have been called "Smashes Before Your Eyes"! That was a very unnerving scene.

Therefore if Juliet was chosen because she has virtually no links to The World (other than Rachel who They will use to manipulate Juliet emotionally if need be), Mittelos could have staged her death in the public news as well. Consider that they may have assumed that, in spite of her genius, Juliet was a complete loser emotionally. They could have pegged her for being the perfect stooge who would gulp down the "kool-aid", chuck the world and all it doesn't have to offer her, and who would be willing to live an "idyllic" life in Othertown doing the research that she loved for the rest of her life. They would watch over Rachel and her child (another post entirely!), and Juliet in her gratefulness would stay to work on the Island's great conundrum forever.

Then along came the attack on 9/11 right after she convenient for Mittelos. They don't have to stage a car wreck to "kill" her, they can merely say that she happened to be at a Mittelos meeting in the WTC that morning. No remains, end of discussion. But something happened to Juliet on the island that they didn't expect...she seems to have grown a backbone. The little mouse became a lioness. Her frustration in the failure to solve the fertility problem, her small town blues, and her love for her sister, gave her a fierce determination to get the heck off of Craphole Island. Bad news for Ben, as now he's stuck in a scenario that they didn't make a contingency plan for -- Juliet's rebellion. Maybe Ben actually would like to get rid of her and the trouble that she causes but he can't, because she's supposed to be dead now which could not be explained if she returned to The World. So now Juliet dreams of being Carrie and telekinetically killing Ben, or getting someone else to kill him. In the end, like with Walt, I think that the Others got more than they bargained for with Juliet, even after all of their best laid plans.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

"Sentimental Airlines"

No new babbling thoughts here today folks. I thought that I'd just pass on some new music that I found that would go well with LOST. Richard Butler of the Psychedelic Furs has released a new solo album which is very good. A few songs work within the LOST theme of a jet full of fractured people who embarked on a fractured journey.

The best LOST related song is "Sentimental Airlines":

Nothing's gonna change
You just sit there strained
Sentimental Airlines leaves into the blue
Staring at the sun
Dry behind the tears
Under pale and dreamless skies
Sta-pressed and screwed
That last straw bent my back
We're beat and bullied till we crack
I give in lets pretend that we're all angels in the end
I'm not gonna crack
Disappointed yet
Drip fed with a sense of doubt high wired and frail
Fake behind the smile that put me on my knees
I don't have the faith to please brain dead and clean
That last straw bent my back we're beat and bullied till we crack
I give in lets pretend that we're all angels in the end
I give in

Another song, "Broken Aeroplanes" has an appropriate part as well with LOST themes (being broken, light/shadow (black/white), time, bad communication, etc.):

We're broken aeroplanes on the runway
Never leaving going no place
You're like a shadow in the light of day
Fading away with every tick of time that passes
The sweetest words have gone now we don't talk
What do we say when every promise made is broken...
We're all of us ghosts we're lost but we're not counted out yet

The first track "Good Days Bad Days" has a theme of taking back everything one did in life such as in the words:

I want to unfly every crow unwind every mile
Undo everything that I've done...
I want to unread every book that my eyes laid on
Unsay everything I've said...
I want to unsew every seam unwind every clock
unbreath every breath I've made...

It's a nice album. Sounds like slow Furs, Floyd-ish guitars in places, and thoughtful spaciness. Butler's Myspace page with some songs on it is:
OK, so I guess that I did babble on today after all. :-)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

"Doctor Desmond, Time Lord"

Continued conversation with blogger friends about the suspected Course Correctors of the time element alluded to on LOST, brought another thought to my mind the other day. What if poor Desmond has been chosen to be brought into the CC's ranks as a permanent additional or supplemental member?! We "know" (as much as you can know anything on the show) that he is being manipulated, or at least bumped around, by Mrs. Hawking and whomever else is in her ranks of time watchers. We also suspect Brother Campbell, but don't know who else could be involved yet. Do these time lords ever die? If so, perhaps they need to replenish their ranks by steering other hapless humans into the fold, to keep the time-watch going, so as to protect the universe. Maybe that's how Mrs. Hawking and Brother Campbell got their jobs. Or maybe the mean old time lords just sweep away any humans handy to use as pawns in their course correcting duties.

Consider Desmond's existence. We have been shown a number of events that have happened in Dez's life, all of which didn't turn out the way he intended. His first wedding didn't happen, life as a monk didn't work out, his life planned with Penny wasn't realized, and something happened to him in his military stint that earned him a dishonorable discharge. Somewhere in his life he attempted to study medicine, but he apparently did not reach the goal in that vocation either. Then he tried to prove his mettle and worth by winning a sailing race that planted him on the Island. And later, his trip away from the island brought him right back around to being in the Swan station again, assuring that he would be there for the big Failsafe moment to save the world. What if for Desmond's entire life he has been shuffled by the Time Watchers or Course Correctors so that when the time came, he could be assimilated into the order of the watchers to be at the right place in the right time when needed? It's a creepy thought.

I must say though, Desmond would make a great Doctor Who! In Desmond's parallel-time-twisting-flashback-trip he had the quintessential Dr. Who look: the rumpled suit with a big loose tie/scarf, the dishevelled hair, and the accent. Even in the Swan station with the Losties, he acts at ease at the controls as if he knows what's going on like the Doctor in his spaceship. All he needs now is his own TARDIS! But we don't know what Mrs. Hawking and company use for their travel, they might use something a little more elegant.

If being some sort of a time lord is Desmond's fate, I hope that he can come to terms with it. He wants to live a real life of his own, but he may not get to now with Mrs.'H' butting in. If he is merely being used as an instrument for their use in cleaning up this big Island mess with the Dharma Initiative, the Island Originals, and Hanso Henchmen, he might be able to go back to Penny after all the dirty deeds are done and the world is once again on course. If not, then he may have to come to terms with being trapped in a time lord job indefinitely. At this point though, we don't know that for sure any more than we know anything else.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


All the talk about course-correcting this summer on our Lost blogs, has brought up a certain thought for me. If the way we are understanding and discussing this time-course-correction will actually be in the show, it begs a huge question: if all our island Losties or Others would get a choice of going back and course-correcting their lives, would they do it? If they could push a rewind button and accept a "do-over" somewhere, should they? If they got the chance to be someone other than who they ended up being, I wonder who would take the offer?

Only one person so far has gotten the opportunity to correct his life, but the gift got snatched away from him before he even knew what was happening. Poor Desmond did get the chance to undo his previous mistakes, but Mrs. Hawking would not let him for some reason that is still a bit unclear. I mean, we know what she wants Dez to do, but it didn't have anything to do with what he wanted, and he did not get to fix things with Penny on his second time around with her.

Charlie, Hurley, and Juliet might be open to changing some events in their lives. Charlie has been on a self improvement quest since the crash, trying to get back the idealism of his youth. And when he got to give his life for those ideals he did, if the ultimate self-sacrifice can be considered a life correction. I think it can since we are given the impression that Charlie wanted his life to have more meaning than the shallow existence of a bloody rock star. Our pal Hurley has come a long way since the crash as well, and would probably change a few previous mistakes such as, eating for comfort, playing the Lottery, and not realizing his self-worth. Where Juliet is in the story, it seems that she would not take the Mittelos offer again. And she would hopefully decide to not be such a little mouse in her second chance. But who knows, something might happen between now and the end of the series that could make her glad that she did go to the island after all. And Hurley might end up finding some good to do with his money somehow.

I'd hope that Michael would take back being an obnoxious parent and murderous maniac, undoing the backstabbing killing spree that he went on in his search for Walt. I don't know if Locke would change anything, since he believes that everything good or bad is meant to be, although I think that he's using this as an excuse sometimes. So far in island time, I don't think that Jack would accept a second chance, because I don't recall Jack ever saying that he was sorry for anything he's done. Before the flash-forward that is. He always seems to have trouble admitting his mistakes, and you have to admit that something was wrong or at least ill conceived before you can take it back or change it. He's been sorry that things got messed up, but not necessarily for his part in the mess.

Maybe that's what the FF is all about, Jack finally accepts that he has made a mistake and wants the "do-over". He wants to hit the rewind button and go back to the island and change whatever they did, that he thinks was a bad decision. Or perhaps in the FF he wants to go back to the moment that he steps out from the jungle after the crash to take charge in a positive way, not be a cry-baby, and handle the Castaways vs. Others War more wisely. Or when Jack says, "We have to go back," he means that they have to go back and do their lives over again? He wants to use his 20/20 hindsight and do it all over the right way. To be brave and not cowardly, wise instead of dumb, kind rather than harsh, or strong and not weak. Who could blame him?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

"Sensei Jacob"

LOST viewers were "formally" introduced to Jacob in Season3 along with John Locke. And for once, we know as much about Locke's experience as he does, though there isn't all that much info unfortunately. I find that the little information that we have on Jacob so far is pretty creepy, for lack of a better word.

His personality appears to be a moody and cantankerous one. He reminds me of the old geezer martial arts master Pai Mei in Kill Bill 2. You know the type, one of those Zen masters who acts and speaks only in riddles, where everything means the opposite of what he's really saying, and who challenges everything that you do if you forget to "empty your cup" before accepting his training. I kind of like Pai Mei, but I don't like Jacob very much so far.

Like the mystical Zen masters of legend, there is an otherworldly aspect of Jacob's wisdom and powers, and we don't know what that's all about yet. We don't even know where he came from. And like any good old-fashioned hermit sage, you apparently don't ask for visitation with Jacob, he has to ask for you. The nerve! In Zen philosophy the highest is supposed to be the lowest, and vice versa. That's also how Jesus describes aspects of spiritual hierarchy. But Jacob seems to be taking full advantage of his power over the island (or with the island) and you'd better not question it. Still, most of the time when Jacob is referred to by the Others, they call him a great man, so he must do something right for the most part. Unless of course the Others are too afraid to speak the truth about him, for fear that he would "send them into the corn field" like the bad little boy in that creepiest of all Twilight Zone episodes!

Another somewhat Zen-like attribute of Jacob's is his sparse living quarters. He doesn't seem to require more than a rickety old hillbilly shack with a wooden table and chairs, no lights, a painting of his favorite hound, and some jars full of disgusting looking liquids on the window sill and other decrepit accouterments. I don't remember seeing a fridge in the shack, so perhaps he doesn't need to eat either. For all we know though, in another dimension that he lives in he could have a Biltmore mansion and he just pretends to be the sparse-living old sage in front of the Others.

The mystery of Jacob is one that I am most looking forward to learning the answers to. He has been a background entity in the show for a long time, ever since someone made the first ambiguous "Him" reference. Personally I kind of hope that he would be Magnus Hanso, who on his ship the Black Rock was somehow swept up into another dimension via the natural "Casimir-like" effect of the island. He could have been floating in and out of dimensions for eons (to him) and somehow has the power to affect the course life in other places in time because of this. On the other hand, trying to figure out who Jacob is with the sparse and conflicting information that TPTB have given us, almost makes me a cranky as Jacob! I would love to know what other people have put together with the bits and pieces that have been fed to us so far.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

"Godspeed STS-118!"

The latest Shuttle mission has just taken off in the Endeavor orbiter, with a crew including Barbara Morgan, the back-up teacher to Christa McAuliffe of the ill-fated Challenger mission. So her dream of being a teacher in space has finally come true.

Let's keep the mission in our prayers for a fantastic flight and safe return! For more info on the mission see:

You can also watch the mission unfold (kind of like watching paint dry sometimes, haha) by watching NASA TV at:

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

"Shogun Japan and LOST Island"

Soon I am going on vacation for a few days, and I am going to do like Memphish and get some reading time in. Recently I starting re-watching the 1980s TV mini-series "Shogun", and I also found an online PDF of a book called "Learning From Shogun". The book is a very thorough annotation of Clavell's inspiration for his Shogun story. I can't wait to start it, as I'm a total 'Japan-o-phile'.

Thinking about the isolation of the island of Japan before it was noticed by the Western trade world reminded me of the LOST island. Up to now I have had a hard time comprehending the isolation factor of the island in respect to why those residing on it (like Ben and the "Originals", not the recruits like Juliet) would want the island to remain isolated. It's curious to witness the behavior of the indigenous Others who willingly live separated and hidden from the world. It's also shocking to see the way the isolationists respond to the castaways as aggressive intruders, irrespective of the fact that they got dumped there involuntarily via a plane crash. The story of the shipwrecked captain in Shogun illustrates what that is like also.

To the Losties, the inhabitants of LOST island are a bizarre society similar to how Japan must have looked to Occidental explorers when they first arrived. I've always wondered in awe about how Japan's isolation from the known Western world allowed it to grow into an almost alien culture. Granted, it's roots are from the same Oriental tree as China, and there are similarities. But pre-modern Japan was like a mystical world -- a plant cutting that grew on its own away from almost any cross-pollination influences. This is what makes Japan so interesting to me, its like a lone patch of culture that evolved into its own universe.

That's how the LOST island Others appear to the viewers and the castaways as well. The Post-Purgers evolved into a peculiar (I say dystopian) society, under various influences that we don't know much about yet. They don't seem to think with the same logic, or follow the same rules of conduct, as the world that we live in at all. They have their own ideas of what is right and wrong, or good and bad, just like in Japan before it was touched by The West. We have been given hints that there are very good reasons why the island must remain isolated and protected, but it is still too soon to comprehend. In the same way that Captain Blackthorn was shocked by how barbarian the Japanese culture seemed to his moral code, we can't fathom why Ben goes around hurting and deceiving people to further his mysterious cause that he apparently feels is bigger and more important than the smaller lives that he ruins in the wake of his determination. I can't wait to see how TPTB are going to explain all this to us. And to see if any of the Losties become sympathetic to the Others and make a life for themselves on the island like Blackthorn did in Shogun.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

"What Kate Needs"

The LOST episode "What Kate Did" gave us the background material that revealed what Kate's criminal past was all about. But we are still questioning who Kate actually is. By that I mean, who is this girl who reacted to an abusive step dad (who was really her father), whose mother put the creep above her own daughter? Is the girl who is now a prisoner of her misdeeds a good or bad person? What could poor Kate have been if she had better circumstances in her life? And what are the internal obstacles that hinder her from figuring out how to find her true self and start over in a better way on the island with her own Tabula Rasa?

In many ways Kate is a lot like the character Aldonza, in Cervantes' "Don Quixote", and also in the play "Man of La Mancha". Aldonza is a village peasant girl of rough repute, but she is not ignorant. Her station in life has made her defiant of her position and street wise. Between the lines we can tell that she doesn't feel that she has any choice in what kind of life she gets to live, no matter how smart she might be, and it makes her bitter and mistrustful. I see a lot of Aldonza in Kate. She learned savvy skills from her Army step dad, and she is very brave in the face of challenges. Kate is also pretty good at reading her fellow castaways in some episodes. But something went wrong in her life and when it comes to raising herself above the circumstances she fell into, she seems at a complete loss as to how to do that.

Many times LOST bloggers have discussed what it is that Kate actually needs (in the way of a partner) to lift her out of her past. Does she need a Sawyer type of guy who is on to her bad side, loves her anyway, and treats her like an equal? Or does she need what it once looked as if Jack might be able to give her -- a kind of affection and appreciation that would lift her up from her depths and make her want to be a better woman? I think that although Kate needs to pull her own self up by her bootstraps and decide what kind of person she wants to be, she could also use a little prodding about now. Sometimes we all need a Don Quixote to see the best in us and to help us realize that we don't have to be what we were born into, or worse yet, what other people say that we are. We can be whatever great person that we want to be. Especially in God's eyes, we always have the choice of redemption, which is a major theme of LOST.

Maybe Kate's black horse vision is a reminder to her of her strong inner self. Of the Kate that existed before things in her life got turned around for the worse. Giving her the feeling that maybe she can still be that brave and strong mare once again. If Jacob controls Smokey and the visions, did he sense this about Kate and send the horse as a token of a Don Quixote type of inspiration to her? Kate needs someone in her life to tell her that a person can be much more than the worst mistake they ever made. Mother Teresa taught that the way to get someone to be their best self, is to treat them as if they are. That's what Don Quixote did for Aldonza, to inspire her to transform into the sparkling persona of Dulcinea, the ideal. That's what Kate needs.

UPDATE: My nephew hated the medieval image that I previously had for this post, because it had nothing to do with LOST or space. So, I changed it to this thoughtful shot of Kate immediately post-crash which I have always liked.

Friday, August 3, 2007

"What Happened To Science?"

The mysterious Hoffitt film that surfaced during the TLE really added a useful dimension to the game. Whether it was a part of TLE released by TPTB, or the clever work of fans with access to historical document reels, the film did a great job of portraying the zeitgeist of the collective scientific community in the first half of the 20th century and put the early earnest intentions of the HF in a related light. During the game we learned that the Hanso Foundation was created with the good intentions of using science to improve our world. Like Alfred Nobel, Alvar wanted to put his destructive arms career behind him, and atone by concentrating on beneficial research.

The HF ad states, "From the dawn of our species, Man has been blessed with curiosity. Our most precious gift, is the desire to know more. To look beyond what is accepted, and to imagine what is possible". The Hoffitt film is narrated throughout and at one point the voice-over comments, "Today the mystery of the great unknown is being explored unendingly by research scientists, hoping to find practical application for advancements in all of our lives and ways. Each discovery... fulfills the human destiny...with a purpose to perform toward perfection. We...believe in...fundamentally improving the human condition, through applied reason." These are very admirable goals, and mirror those of early 20th century research.

When scientists began to make great strides in areas such as curing diseases and simplifying our daily lives with improved products and equipment, these men (and the few women who were allowed, such as Madame Curie and Lisa Meintner) were giants to us. When I grew up children changed from wanting to grow up to be Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, to imagining themselves in jobs hunching over bubbling beakers, wielding sword-like slide rules and sporting pocket protectors, or hurtling through the heavens to unknown worlds. Our TV heroes were the likes of astronauts, the adventuresome Johnny Quest and his scientist dad, and Mr. Wizard who taught us the fundamentals of science magic. We were promised a brighter future and a better tomorrow through science. And we were told that we would live on the moon!

So what happened to those lofty scientific goals? Today researchers are often thought of as the bad guys, almost with the same distaste that people rightly cast on the selfish corporate magnates of the 21st century. Where did science go wrong? Maybe we can look to TLE for some hints. Perhaps many once-honorable science related businesses like IBM got overtaken, as the original family owners bowed out, by pseudo-scientist nuts who had only their self-promoting money-making achievements in mind. Additionally, the grey-haired old hippies from the 1960s who complain today about global this-and-that-problems had forty years to study any science of their choice to help improve the world, but they didn't and all they do now is complain. Where were they when the coup of the scientific community was happening by those with less than stellar aspirations? ((Crickets chirping))

I guess that Underdog was not able to control Simon Bar Sinister after all. Maybe Johnny Quest and his dad failed to overcome the many evil scientists at work to control the world, and that's the universe that we live in now. And Mr. Wizard (Don Herbert) passed on from our dimension this year. Other than that, I have no clue as to what happened to our aspirations for a better and more humanitarian tomorrow through science. I'm open for suggestions.